STEVE Davis wants his players to come out fighting against struggling Hartlepool on Saturday.

Tuesday night’s dismal 2-0 defeat at home to Oldham left the Alex boss fuming as the club slumped to 18th in League One.

Keeper Alan Martin kept Crewe in the clash with a string of fine saves before James Tarkowski (61) and Matt Derbyshire (79) punished sloppy defending for a deserved three points.

Without a win in six, the pressure is now on against a side The Railwaymen spanked 5-0 on the opening day of the season.

“We just couldn’t get going and there was no fluency in our play at all,” he said.

“Since I have been in charge, we haven’t had that kind of performance at home.

“I was looking for some characters, it was a big test and there weren’t enough of them.

“They’ve got to be better.

“If I was watching that game, I wouldn’t have been impressed.

“When I’m backed against the wall I come out fighting and I’m going to be making sure the players do the same.

“They need to stand up and put it right on Saturday.”

Byron Moore and Max Clayton could return to the starting line up while Davis also waits on the availability of Abdul Osman (ankle) and Adam Dugdale (back).

“We are short but the players that are going out there have got to show they are worth a place,” he continued.

“We’ve struggled to get goals as of late.

“I couldn’t think of anything productive AJ did in the game against Oldham and I’ve told him that.

“I thought he’d had enough on the night and Matt Tootle was the same.”

Davis admitted he is in talks with chairman John Bowler about a new contract as he looks to the immediate future.

“There are going to be some blips along the way and it is how we recover from defeats,” he continued.

“I enjoy winning games and I hope that rubs off on the players.

“I have spoken to John over the last month about the contract and hopefully we can sort something out in the not too distant future.

“I want to stay and push the club as far as I can take it.”